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Research Programs

Members of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center have developed strong, thriving, well-funded programs of research. Explore below to see research highlights and upcoming events for each program.

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Cancer Biology And Signaling

Program Leaders: Dong-Er Zhang, PhD and Kun-liang Guan, PhD


The Cancer Biology and Signaling program is focused on fundamental mechanisms in two general areas of biology: signal transduction and developmental biology. Acknowledging the complexity of the signal transduction network that governs the basic processes of cell proliferation, differentiation and cell death, members of Cancer Biology also develop tools for high-throughput and computational analyses of the regulatory network.

Structural and Functional Genomics

Program Leaders: Jill P. Mesirov, PhD and Joseph D. Califano, MD


Structural and Functional Genomics focuses on classical and molecular genetics and systems biology approaches in the study of cancer, both for understanding the genetic basis of the disease and to identify targets for therapeutic intervention. With the increasing availability of genome sequences and powerful new genetic technologies, the time may never be better to obtain genetic insights into the development of cancer.

Hematologic Malignancies

Program Leaders: Catriona Jamieson, MD/PhD and Thomas Kipps, MD/PhD


Hematologic Malignancies seeks to improve our understanding of molecular characteristics and treatment of leukemias and lymphomas. Examining the differences between cancer and normal cells has provided insight into the molecular and biochemical features that define the malignant phenotype. Ultimate understanding of these mechanisms will help investigators to identify molecular pathways or antigens that are receptive to drugs and/or immune therapy.

Cancer Control

Program Leaders: Samir Gupta, MD and John Elder, PhD/MPH


Cancer Control is focused on improving the current knowledge base to promote overall reductions in cancer incidence, mortality and morbidity as outlined by the 2010 Health Goals for the nation. Studies include: 1) promoting the decline in tobacco consumption in the United States; 2) improving lifestyle patterns observed to be protective against cancer; 3) studying the efficacy of cancer prevention efforts; and 4) improving exposure measures used in cancer prevention and control studies.

Solid Tumor Therapeutics

Program Leaders: Ezra Cohen, MD and Judy Varner, PhD


A vital part of our mission is to provide equitable access to high quality cancer-related training activities and educational opportunities that extend from high school through the undergraduate, graduate, and junior faculty phases of a cancer research career. We invite you to explore our programs:

Research Program Membership

Read about the different kinds of membership at the Moores Cancer Center, and apply to become a member.

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